Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) was reported to induce myocardial regeneration by promoting mobilization of bone marrow stem cells to the injured heart after myocardial infarction, but the precise mechanisms of the beneficial effects of G-CSF are not fully understood. Here we show that G-CSF acts directly on cardiomyocytes and promotes their survival after myocardial infarction. G-CSF receptor was expressed on cardiomyocytes and G-CSF activated the Jak/Stat pathway in cardiomyocytes. The G-CSF treatment did not affect initial infarct size at 3 d but improved cardiac function as early as 1 week after myocardial infarction. Moreover, the beneficial effects of G-CSF on cardiac function were reduced by delayed start of the treatment. G-CSF induced antiapoptotic proteins and inhibited apoptotic death of cardiomyocytes in the infarcted hearts. G-CSF also reduced apoptosis of endothelial cells and increased vascularization in the infarcted hearts, further protecting against ischemic injury. All these effects of G-CSF on infarcted hearts were abolished by overexpression of a dominant-negative mutant Stat3 protein in cardiomyocytes. These results suggest that G-CSF promotes survival of cardiac myocytes and prevents left ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction through the functional communication between cardiomyocytes and noncardiomyocytes.